Difference between revisions of "Dead Water"

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Spoiler 3: On turn 10, a squad of Dark Adepts (easy) or Necromancers (difficult) arrives on the northern beach. For this reason, your attack on the central island should veer towards the northwest. This way, you can cut them down in daylight with Brawlers backed by leadership.
Spoiler 3: On turn 10, a squad of Dark Adepts (easy) or Necromancers (difficult) arrives on the northern beach. For this reason, your attack on the central island should veer towards the northwest. This way, you can cut them down in daylight with Brawlers backed by leadership.
[[Category: Campaigns - Walkthroughs]]

Revision as of 16:25, 13 June 2011

This walkthrough started with the comments in the cfg files, which are based on normal difficulty. Maiklas3000 updated the comments for difficult (Triton/nightmare) level. Feel free to add your own comments and you can place your attribution here (using "edit" at the bottom.)

Campaign Strategy

You have piercing-attack Mermen to fight pierce-resistant Undead. What to do? Fortunately, for this campaign you are given a special impact unit, namely the Merman Brawler, which is an advancement of Merman Citizen, the peasants of the Mermen. Spamming Citizens and promoting them to Brawler is one of the keys to the campaign. Brawlers backed by leadership are especially deadly. Take note of the Brawlers' tail attacks with "stun", which can sometimes be used to good effect to disrupt Z.O.C's. You should also aggressively advance Hunters to Netcasters for their impact attacks, with "slow" as a bonus on the ranged attack. Many scenarios benefit from having at least two healers, so you should also promote an Initiate or two (or three) to Priestess early on, to supplement your starting Priestess, Cylanna, whom you should try to promote quickly to Diviner for the illumination. Fighters/Warriors and Spearmen are less useful in this campaign, but you do not always fight Undead, so groom a few on your roster "just in case."

Along the way, you will gather several loyal units that will remain with you until the end, if they survive. So, make sure they survive, replaying scenarios if necessary.

By the way, this is a campaign where it pays to read one scenario ahead, to see if you can better prepare yourself.



This scenario is tricky. Mastering a winning strategy may take you a few attempts.

A key feature of this scenario is that when the Undead capture any village, Walking Corpses spawn. (Soulless spawn on Difficult.) In light of this, you have two possible strategies, with which others have had success:

Option 1: Leader assassination / blitzkrieg. First turn, recruit only (or mostly) level 1 units. When you see an opening to go for the enemy leader, advance and kill him. The enemy will be focused on capturing villages in order to create an overwhelming number of Walking Corpses - so much so that you may be able to just walk in and kill their leader.

Option 2: "General Motorsing". Your basic strategy should be to take and hold as many villages as possible, both to prevent the spawning and to boost your income. If possible, grant the enemy only the three villages closest to his keep (not counting the two in the mountains, which your Mermen can't do anything about.) If you don't let many villages fall into enemy hands, eventually your income will be overwhelming. First turn, recruit a mix of level 1's and Citizens. Send a couple level 1's south to capture and protect villages there and send the Citizens in all directions to snatch up villages. Try not to lose any of the villages north of the eastern river. On Difficult, this is a challenge, but quite possible. Keep that area free of Soulless and Walking Corpses, so that you can concentrate your Citizens there and suicide attack them versus Skeletons.

Let the swimming Soulless/WC advance a bit towards your keep, so that your baby king can dart out to get an easy kill or two. As Gwabbo hints, you would be wise to get Krellis as much experience as possible this scenario; it will make the next scenario much easier.

Attack during the day, but retreat and heal at night. Keep your Citizens and wounded safe from becoming WC's, which often means sitting them on villages, but you can think of other ways, like using the ZOC's of level 1's and 2's to protect them.

Bat control is essential. Don't let even one Bat get into your rear area, or it may spell defeat. Initiates are good against Bats. A key to success is understanding how the Bats work. They will forego capturing a village in favor of making an attack. So, if there is a friendly or unowned village within range of a Bat, you have to make sure the Bat has someone to attack. Citizens make good bat bait.

If you start losing villages, it may not be the end of the world. You can sacrifice the land villages, but hold the ones in the water, using a couple of Fighters/Hunters plus Citizens. Use Cylanna, Gwabbo, and a few Citizens to hold off the Skeletons and Soulless southeast of your keep until the village situation is under control. Remember to look for an easy path to the enemy leader, despite the swarms of Walking Corpses on the rest of the map.

Towards the end, your income probably will be quite large, so if the situation is under control, then it's better to milk XP than go for an early finish. You can swarm the enemy keep with Citizens and take your time to end it. Try to get Krellis to level 1, while also turning some of the Citizens into Brawlers.


Hopefully Kai Krellis is at least half leveled up already. Otherwise, this can be painful, as one of the victory conditions is that the Kai must be at least level 1.

You must decide whether to attack east or southwest. To the east is the prospect of more experience, while to the southwest is an easier foe and less distance for Krellis to travel back to the signpost.

Option 1, east: Recruit a bunch of Citizens and Brawlers, and send them east with Krellis. Use Citizens to lure the Skeleton Archer types into the water. They are easy pickings there for other Citizens, Brawlers, and Krellis. One of those guys gets Krellis half way up to level one. A few Citizens should also survive to become Brawlers. Remember that you can often turn a near-dead Citizen into a healthy Brawler by going for a kill, especially with the leadership of Krellis if he is already at level 1. About the time you get Krellis leveled up, and you are thinking about retreating everyone else, the bats will arrive. On Difficult, this will be a nasty number of Blood Bats. Use Hunters and Initiates to clear a path back west. Send three or four expendable units with Krellis. Their job is only to serve as bat bait, distracting the bats from Krellis, so that he does not get ZOC-locked. Krellis runs for the corner, while the rest of the troops gain experience doing a fighting retreat from the skeletons and other bad guys arriving in the middle of the map.

Option 2, southwest: Send Citizens east, while your best troops go southwest. After you advance to where you meet the enemy, you will start retreating almost as quickly, especially at night. Feed near-dead Blood Bats to Krellis for experience.

Whichever option you choose, this is not the normal sort of scenario where you will slaughter all the enemy. Remember that you are just trying to get enough experience for Krellis to level up. Then have him run like hell for the signpost. Ignore gold for now. You don't need much on the next level.

Killing all the enemy leaders will end the level, but that won't be easy.

Spoiler: Killing any enemy leader is good for a bonus. Each one gives you a different bonus: cash, a loyal bat, or a ring of strength.

Wolf Coast

This is a fairly easy level to give you a break. Go north, then lure wolves into the water where you can pick them off. If the wolves come in too big of a pack, you can split them up by sending Citizens off to the edges, in (or next to) shallow water.

You really should get a second healer leveled up here if you haven't yet. Netcasters and enchantresses are probably your next priorities. You'll want a bunch of both.

There is a storm trident in the southeast, sticking out of a pond. A fighter would be a wise choice of holder, simply because they have a lot of hit points. With the trident, he will level quickly. When you get him to level 3, choose Triton, as Hoplites have only pierce melee attack (bad for Skeletons.)

Money is useful going into the next scenario, but it's hard to get money out of this scenario. Scrounge every gold piece you can by starting with mostly level 1's (and 0's) and taking villages. Rushing for an early finish isn't really a good idea, as the next scenario also demands leveled troops (or better yet: about to level troops.)


This is one of those scenarios that some will find impossible. However, rest assured it's possible, even on Difficult/Triton/Nightmare.

You get a free, loyal brawler.

There are two cages on the shore. One contains Keshan, a drake burner who can be very useful during the campaign, and the other contains a poacher named Siddry. He's not going to be much help here, and he won't come with you. However, if you keep him alive, he comes back in The Flaming Sword with some friends who are a big help taking villages in the beginning (and not much help thereafter).

The shipwreck in the north contains a treasure chest with 100 gold.

Recruit about two castles, one of which should be all level 2's. Hopefully that includes at least one more healer. Healers are essential here. Also, any units close to leveling are especially good.

Send a quick Citizen north to get the gold and villages along the way. Send everyone else east. Hang back a bit during the first watch of the first night: don't try to grab as much territory as possible; instead, try to lure the Saurians into the water.

During daytime, be aggressive in taking out the troops and getting to the leader, but don't leave any units out and exposed. At night, be conservative and forego attacks that would put your units at risk. As always against Saurians, maintain a solid line and make constant use of control-v to watch where the enemy can move.

For triggering the slave revolt, a nice time is turn 7, after you have finished your attacks. It's dusk then, and the slaves will distract the Saurians from counterattacking you that turn and on into the night, plus it will slow down the Saurians coming from the North. However, if earlier you find you find yourself with a hole in your line or a unit in jeopardy, that's going to be your best time to pull the trigger on the slave revolt.

When it's safe, rescue the drake, and try to get him some experience--carefully. When he advances, maybe in a later scenario, choose Drake Flare, for the leadership bonus, as you will often have large hordes of level 0/1 troops and only one other leader, Krellis.

After taking out the leader and taking over the keep, you can recruit a unit or two as replacements, and maybe a couple of Citizens for distractions, but you shouldn't need more than that, except maybe on Difficult. You should just be getting involved with the first wave from the north leader now. (He's slowed down by the water.) Sit tight around the castle until the enemy onslaught has thinned out. Try to secure the board edge east of the enemy fortress and north of the forest, so that you do not get surrounded.

After that it should be no problem wiping out the other two leaders--if you have survived this far, you have quite a few high-level units. Advance north cautiously in line formation, while keeping an eye on the clock.

Note: If you find you cannot beat the scenario, you may need to go back and replay the campaign to this point, concentrating on promoting units in each scenario and gathering gold in the previous scenario.


This level is not too hard, so long as you give the high level undead their due respect.

Don't go too negative on gold, but recruit three or four high-level units. You need mostly leveled initiates for their magic ranged attacks. Keshan is a big help, and so is the unit with the storm trident.

Back off at the initial advance of the undead, waiting until daytime to go after them. Keep a solid line to protect against Shadows/Nightgaunts.

If you decide to go after the orc leader, wait until the undead are dispatched. Heal everyone, then assemble just to the north of his keep. Don't touch the ships or piers though! Wait until daytime, then send in all the units with magical attacks. Use other units to keep the slurbows busy. Hopefully the leader won't kill anyone before your next turn. One more round of magical attacks should kill him before his recruits start beating you up. Killing the orc leader isn't really necessary, but he helps someone level up, and he has a fair bit of gold. The next level is much easier with lots of gold.

Uncharted Islands

Get some Citizens to capture villages and some more Citizens and level 1's to serve as cannon fodder to help soak up the awesome damage capability of the first wave of monsters. Then, recall your most powerful units. You need firepower. You also could really use the slow ability of Netcasters and Entanglers. Two healers are probably a minimum. Brawlers have no place here.

Slide the first Citizens around the edges capturing villages. This is mostly to distract the enemy and disperse his units, weakening his first assault wave, which arrives at night. Don't worry about gold -- you probably can't start the next scenario with more than the minimum.

Keshan can handle the upper bottleneck section himself. He is good against the tentacles and even the cuttlefish, if he stays healed. If you lack Keshan, then an Entangler will suffice.

Put everyone else in the middle, using terrain to your advantage. As always, keep an eye on time of day. Use your auras as much as possible: leadership and illuminate (Cylanna is a diviner by now isn't she?) Use "slows" to keep all your units from dying. You will probably lose a couple leveled-up ones anyway.

If you cannot win by a fair fight, you always have the option of leader assassination, sliding your assassination force along the north edge of the board, while the bulk of your force stays in the middle.

Spoiler: When you finish off the enemy leader, he gives you a loyal Cuttle Fish. It is isn't terribly useful, but cool to have anyway. When the Cuttle Fish levels into a Kraken, he is quite a bit nicer to have.


This scenario should be rated "R" for massive violence! Both sides can do lots of damage to the other.

Here's where you can use all the piercing units you have. Hopefully you haven't been totally ignoring the spearman and warrior lines. Even level one units can do pretty high damage to drakes though, so you can level up some more here. Get piercing units, almost exclusively. Netcasters aren't really necessary, and one diviner is enough (but a second healer can help.) However, don't get any units aside from maybe a few level zero Citizens for about four turns. The drakes will take a while getting to you, so just take some villages and let your income work. Don't worry about holding the villages; you'll get a bonus in the end if you survive. Just worry about getting enough units so that you do survive.

Let the first wave of drakes come to you. You'll have the advantage in the water--even against high-level units. They will kill some of your weaker units, but you will do far more damage to them, and level up some new ones in the process. If you survive the first wave, you should be fine. You probably will have to do a little fighting on land towards the end. Just be careful about how many units can attack each of yours.

Talking to Tyegea

No fighting to do here. Give one of your leveled fighters the holy water. Those units won't be as useful after one more scenario unless they have special weapons.

The Mage

You need fire (e.g., storm trident) and arcane to take care of scorpions. Mermen Javelineers get one more level to shine. Diviners are also great.

Stay near your fortress initially, forming a line across the southwest corner, because you will be hit with a nasty number of bats and scorpions, not to mention the occasional giant spider.

Hopefully you have Keshan, as he is especially helpful in actually finding the mage. He can get there several turns ahead of even the fastest Merman (after you take out most of the scorpions in the way), but of course you don't need him. Without Keshan, the timing will be very tight, and you must focus on killing the creepy crawlies quickly and getting on your way ASAP.

The Flaming Sword

This is one of those scenarios where there are a lot of villages, so you will want to start with some level 0 units (e.g., Mermen Citizens), but don't expect them to last long. Manage your expenses and try to keep your income large, so you can create a large army supported by spam. If you have a large stable of Brawlers, you can start treating them suicidally much like Citizens, as this is just before the last scenario.

After you advance to the three villages in the center, you'll want to retreat just as fast, as night will be coming, as well as a nasty wave of high level Undead. If you only see a couple of ghosts emerging out of the fog, don't be fooled: run like hell, because they are backed up by Spectres and other tough undead. You may wish to send a few weak units to the northwest, backed by a stronger unit with an arcane ranged attack, like an Enchantress. This will tend to draw some undead that way, making it easier to deal with the ones in the middle.

Towards the end, hoard your gold. You will need some for the last scenario.

You defeat the lich to try to get the sword, but as soon as the lich drops it, Caladon teleports in and picks it up. Now, you need to defeat Caladon to get the sword. He grants you time to leave, which is actually a turn to remove any very damaged units from the vicinity as Caladon is pretty dangerous. You can attack him now, or wait a turn for him to get impatient and attack you. When he attacks, or you attack him, he summons fire guardians (stolen from the campaign Under the Burning Suns.) He does not also recruit, because that would just be mean. (There is no reason he would have much gold, anyway.)

Getting Help

No combat here. You gain the ability to recruit priestesses.


It's the last scenario. Losses of loyal units are acceptable. Also, you are relieved of the responsibility of protecting Cylanna. And you gain a loyal diviner, the Kai's grandmother, Tyegëa.

Your minimum gold is 300, but this is likely insufficient, so hopefully you have more than 400. Recruit a batch or two of Merman Citizens to capture villages. Recruit Brawlers next, who are good for bashing skeleton types, doubly so when the Brawlers are supported by leadership. Pace your main recruitment to end by turn 5 or 6. Diviners and Priestesses are especially useful in this scenario, to kill Bats and arcane-suspectible undead, as well as to heal your main force. Remember that you now have the ability to recruit Priestesses, which will come in handy if you don't already have a stockpile of them to recall.

You must kill all the enemy leaders. The choice of which enemy leader to kill first is easy. The enemy leader at southeast is protected by terrain that is nasty to Mermen. Therefore, the bulk of your force should head to the island in the middle. Send only a few Citizens to collect villages in the east. The four toughies at the northwest strait will not bother you if you do not go near them, so steer clear. The middle leader may dart out if you present him with an easy kill. Try to take him down then, as he is tougher in the middle of the island, protected by his recruits. After killing the middle leader, the rest should be downhill. However, keep an eye on the location of the Shadows recruited by the southeast leader, so that they do not surprise you at night. To protect the wounded, stay in line formation whenever Shadows threaten.

Give great respect to the undead at night, backing off and foregoing attacks. By day, wail on them mercilessly.

Use your halos (illumination and leadership.) They are key. Hopefully, Keshan is both alive and a Flameheart, for its leadership bonus.

Spoiler 1: The pile of skeleton bones in the West has an ankh that will provide the wearer with 70% resistance to arcane damage. A good bearer is an Entangler like Gwabbo, who can then slow enemy necromancers with relative impunity.

Spoiler 2: After you kill the middle leader, he drops a ring of power, which "increases the damage of all its owner's attacks by one, and adds three hitpoints." Inky or Krellis would be a good choice of bearer.

Spoiler 3: On turn 10, a squad of Dark Adepts (easy) or Necromancers (difficult) arrives on the northern beach. For this reason, your attack on the central island should veer towards the northwest. This way, you can cut them down in daylight with Brawlers backed by leadership.